Strengthening Research Partnerships – Burundi Ambassador to Kenya visits the BecA-ILRI Hub

On Thursday 27 March, 2014 His Excellency Fulgence Ndayishimiye, Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi in Kenya and Mr Jean Baptiste Ciza, Second Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Burundi in Kenya visited the BecA-ILRI Hub.

The ambassador’s visit to the BecA-ILRI Hub was inspired by his meeting with three research fellows from Burundi who are conducting their research at the Hub. The three visiting scientists’ research on different crops and livestock is significant to the achievement of improved livelihoods in their country through increased food and nutritional security and income.

Gedeon Nsabiyumva, a researcher at the Burundi Agronomic Sciences Institute (ISABU) is conducting research that addresses toxic postharvest maize contamination in Burundi; Vincent Nteziryayo, an assistant researcher at the University of Burundi is working on the characterization and domestication of nutritious saprophytic wild edible mushrooms that grow in different forests of Burundi; and Constantin Nimbona, a research scientist ISABU is conducting studies that address the issue of cattle tick borne diseases in Burundi.

During the visit, HE Ndayishimiye reiterated the importance of the work being done by the Burundian researchers at the BecA-ILRI Hub citing that agriculture is a national priority for Burundi, providing employment for more than 90% of the population. The ambassador acknowledged the challenges facing this important economic activity and lauded the BecA-ILRI Hub for helping address some of the issues.

“We are facing numerous challenges in the production of various food crops. We have diseases attacking taro, cassava and bananas, all of which are very important to a large population,” said HE Ndayishimiye, “the absence of appropriate research would result in erosion of genetic resources and the ultimate disappearance of these crops and it is fitting that the BecA-ILRI Hub has already identified this problem.”
As part of the visit, the Ambassador and the Second Counsellor toured the laboratory facilities where they learnt more about the technologies available for use by researchers from Burundi and other countries in Africa.

Said Ndayishimiye, “Agricultural development in Burundi is at a phase where very adaptable research is needed and our government is ready to invest in this sector. In the near future, we hope our Minister of Agriculture and Livestock and our Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research can visit this institution so that we can discuss how BecA can help us build our capacity in research.”

 

Research by the three research fellows from Burundi is supported by funding from the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF) fellowship program. Read more about the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund here.

 

 

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